Revolutionary forces mull Egypt presidency runoff, Mubarak verdicts

Sarah Mourad, Sunday 3 Jun 2012

Secular revolutionary movements issue raft of demands aimed at safeguarding revolution in light of Saturday's contentious Mubarak trial verdicts


Secular revolutionary parties and movements held a press conference on Sunday to announce a unified position regarding Saturday's controversial Mubarak trial verdicts.

Protests erupted on Saturday after ousted president Hosni Mubarak and long-time interior minister Habib El-Adly both received life sentences for participating in the crime of killing unarmed anti-regime protesters during last year's Tahrir Square uprising. Six of El-Adly's assistants, however, along with Mubarak's two sons – Gamal and Alaa – were acquitted of all charges in separate cases.

Among the political forces represented at Sunday's press conference were the April 6 Youth Movement, the Revolutionary Youth Coalition, the Socialist Popular Alliance Party, the Revolutionary Socialists, the Maspero Youth Union, and the National Association for Change reform movement's youth wing.

At the press conference, leftist activist Khaled Abdel-Hamid asserted that the court verdicts would send a message to the interior ministry that it could continue killing unarmed protesters with impunity.

"We apologise to the families of the martyrs, saying, 'We swear by the martyrs' blood that we'll launch a new revolution,'" Abdel-Hamid declared. He stressed that Saturday's verdicts represented the "last chance" for Egypt's public prosecution and "corrupt judiciary," which, he claimed, were now recognised as bastions of the former regime.

Leftist activist Khaled El-Sayed then read a joint statement that included the following four basic demands:

1. Application of the Political Disenfranchisement Law (the constitutionality of which will be determined by Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court on 12 June) on presidential finalist and Mubarak-era PM Ahmed Shafiq. This would mean that a runoff vote slated for 16 and 17 June – in which Shafiq will face off against the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi – would be cancelled. Activists further demand the formation of a 'revolutionary court' by the People's Assembly (the lower house of Egypt's parliament) for the prosecution of former regime officials, including Shafiq.

2. The dismissal of Public Prosecutor Abdel-Meguid Mahmoud, who must be held accountable for all crimes committed by the public prosecution, including the destruction of incriminating evidence in several instances.

3. The reinvestigation of all cases related to the killing of protestors since last year's uprising by the proposed revolutionary court, especially last October's Maspero clashes and February's Port Said Stadium disaster.

4. The release of all political detainees, especially civilians currently facing military tribunals.

Party representatives at Sunday's press conference then called on eliminated presidential candidates Hamdeen Sabbahi, Abdel-Moneim Abul-Fotouh and Khaled Ali to unify their positions for the sake of the revolution and cooperate to end military rule via the application of public pressure.

Conference attendees went on to call for a popular demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square at 5pm on Tuesday to protest Saturday's verdicts and call for the application of the disenfranchisement law. They also announced that two major protest marches – to be led by Sabbahi and Abul-Fotouh – would head to the flashpoint square on Monday, also at 5pm, from starting points in Imbaba and downtown Cairo.

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